Boston man charged with taking 3 women from Portland to work as prostitutes

Posted Dec. 12, 2013, at 11:14 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Boston man accused of taking three women from Maine to Massachusetts to work as prostitutes was arrested Tuesday in Massachusetts.

Fritz “Frank” Blanchard, 28, allegedly took two adult women and a minor female from Portland to Boston between June 26 and 29, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Another man, Samuel C. Gravely, 27, of Portland, waived indictment and pleaded guilty last month to one count of transportation in interstate commerce for prostitution. By pleading guilty, Gravely admitted he and a male associated drove the women, referred to by the letters A, B and C in court documents.

While court documents do not specifically link the two men to the same incident, Gravely and Blanchard both were charged Oct. 21 with same crime to which Gravely pleaded guilty. The complaints in both cases are nearly identical and allege the same activity on the same dates.

Information about when Blanchard will make his first court appearance was not available Thursday on the court’s electronic case filing system.

According to the prosecution version of events to which Gravely pleaded guilty, “[Gravely] and his associate met and picked up A on Congress [Street] in Portland, then picked up B and C at a motel in Portland. B and C had pre-existing relationships with [Gravely] and his associate, having previously performed sexual services for clients at the request of the defendant and his associate. After performing such services, B and C turned the money they made over to [Gravely] and his associate.”

A, who is a minor, became uneasy when they arrived at a hotel on Huntington Avenue in Boston, according to court documents filed in Gravely’s case. B and C told her they worked as escorts.

“When A expressed concern, one of the other women contacted [Gravely], who came back to the hotel room, asked A if she was scared, and asked how she expected to pay for the trip if she was not willing to work,” the prosecution version said.

Once she realized what was expected of her, the woman feigned illness, got away from the others and called police, according to court documents.

Gravely has been held without bail since his Oct. 22. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Gravely is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

If convicted, Blanchard would face the same penalties.

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